Posts tagged mauritania

Malian Refugees Find Safety, Health Risks in Mauritania Camp

Malian refugees began arriving in Mauritania in February 2012; today, almost 70,000 people are living in Mbera camp alone. There, they are far from the conflict, but living conditions are difficult and many children are becoming malnourished.

Though the camp is far from the conflict, living conditions here are precarious. Since the start of the year, the number of malnourished children has more than doubled.

Close to 170,000 refugees now live in the countries bordering Mali. They hear the stories of the continuing violence back in Mali. They will not return home any time soon.

Photo: Members of a refugee family in a makeshift tent at the Mbera camp for Malian refugees. Mauritania © Nyani Quarmyne
Stranded in the Desert
Since the start of the conflict in Mali in January 2012, hundreds of thousands of people have fled to other locations inside the country or to neighboring countries. More than 270,000 people have been displaced within Mali, according to the United Nations, while more than 170,000 refugees have fled to neighboringBurkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger. Mauritania hosts the highest number of refugees, with some 68,000 people registered by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in camps in Mauritania.
The camps in Mauritania are located in a remote, arid region close to the border with Mali. The refugees rely completely on outside assistance and humanitarian aid for their survival, including such basic needs as food, water, shelter, and medical care.

Photo: Members of a refugee family in a makeshift tent at the Mbera camp for Malian refugees. Mauritania © Nyani Quarmyne

Stranded in the Desert

Since the start of the conflict in Mali in January 2012, hundreds of thousands of people have fled to other locations inside the country or to neighboring countries. More than 270,000 people have been displaced within Mali, according to the United Nations, while more than 170,000 refugees have fled to neighboringBurkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger. Mauritania hosts the highest number of refugees, with some 68,000 people registered by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in camps in Mauritania.

The camps in Mauritania are located in a remote, arid region close to the border with Mali. The refugees rely completely on outside assistance and humanitarian aid for their survival, including such basic needs as food, water, shelter, and medical care.

Treating Those Caught In Mali’s Armed Conflict

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have remained in northern Mali throughout the recent crisis in order provide medical care to the local population. MSF has treated 35 wounded patients in Timbuktu over the past few weeks and is running programs in Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso to assist those fleeing the conflict.

Photo:Malian refugees wait in Fassala to be registered by Mauritanian officials and a local NGO after fleeing Mali for the border. Mauritania 2012 © Lynsey Addario/VII
Alarming Malnutrition and Mortality Among Malian Refugees in Mauritania
One year after the start of the political crisis in Mali, insecurity resulting from the military coup, the Tuareg rebellion, and the presence of armed Islamist groups in the north has displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Some 55,000 refugees are still living in difficult conditions in the Mbera camp in Mauritania. A nutrition and retrospective mortality survey by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontères (MSF) has revealed critical mortality and malnutrition rates. In this interview, Karl Nawezi, head of MSF’s activities in Mauritania, explains why the situation in the camp—which is located in the middle of the desert a few kilometres from the Malian border—has reached such an alarming point.

Photo:Malian refugees wait in Fassala to be registered by Mauritanian officials and a local NGO after fleeing Mali for the border. Mauritania 2012 © Lynsey Addario/VII

Alarming Malnutrition and Mortality Among Malian Refugees in Mauritania


One year after the start of the political crisis in Mali, insecurity resulting from the military coup, the Tuareg rebellion, and the presence of armed Islamist groups in the north has displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Some 55,000 refugees are still living in difficult conditions in the Mbera camp in Mauritania. A nutrition and retrospective mortality survey by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontères (MSF) has revealed critical mortality and malnutrition rates. In this interview, Karl Nawezi, head of MSF’s activities in Mauritania, explains why the situation in the camp—which is located in the middle of the desert a few kilometres from the Malian border—has reached such an alarming point.

Mali: Refugees in a Vulnerable Situation

A political crisis has divided Mali since the end of January. People displaced by conflict are leaving the north of the country; hiding in the bush or fleeing en masse to Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mauritania. Often they settle in places where people are already living—places that have already been weakened by food insecurity in the region. MSF is responding to the growing humanitarian need in the region, providing assistance to refugees as well as to local people.

MSF is responding to the needs of vulnerable people by supporting health centers in Burkina Faso (Gandafabou, Férrerio), Mauritania (Fassala, Mbéra, Bassikounou), and Niger (Chinagodar, Bani Bangou, Yassan). Every week, MSF’s mobile clinics treat people in refugee camps in Burkina Faso (Dibissi, Ngatoutou-Niénié, Déou) and Niger (Ayorou, Maigaïzé, Bani Bangou, Abala, Gaoudel, and Nbeidou). Since February, MSF medical teams have carried out more than 23,000 consultations in the border regions of Mali. “We are mainly seeing respiratory infections, malaria, and diarrhea,” says Férir. “These problems are often due to the very bad conditions that the refugees are living in.” MSF teams are also treating a large number of women in need of obstetric care. One hundred women have given birth in the MSF health post in Mbera camp in Mauritania.Photo: Malian refugees in a makeshift shelter in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso 2012 © Aurelie Baumel/MSF

Mali: Refugees in a Vulnerable Situation

A political crisis has divided Mali since the end of January. People displaced by conflict are leaving the north of the country; hiding in the bush or fleeing en masse to Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mauritania. Often they settle in places where people are already living—places that have already been weakened by food insecurity in the region. MSF is responding to the growing humanitarian need in the region, providing assistance to refugees as well as to local people.

MSF is responding to the needs of vulnerable people by supporting health centers in Burkina Faso (Gandafabou, Férrerio), Mauritania (Fassala, Mbéra, Bassikounou), and Niger (Chinagodar, Bani Bangou, Yassan). Every week, MSF’s mobile clinics treat people in refugee camps in Burkina Faso (Dibissi, Ngatoutou-Niénié, Déou) and Niger (Ayorou, Maigaïzé, Bani Bangou, Abala, Gaoudel, and Nbeidou). Since February, MSF medical teams have carried out more than 23,000 consultations in the border regions of Mali. “We are mainly seeing respiratory infections, malaria, and diarrhea,” says Férir. “These problems are often due to the very bad conditions that the refugees are living in.” MSF teams are also treating a large number of women in need of obstetric care. One hundred women have given birth in the MSF health post in Mbera camp in Mauritania.

Photo: Malian refugees in a makeshift shelter in Burkina Faso Burkina Faso 2012 © Aurelie Baumel/MSF

International Aid Remains Insufficient for 160,000 Malian Refugees

Nearly 160,000 Malians have fled their country for camps in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger. While instability persists in Mali, another threat looms: the rainy season, which will further complicate the deployment of aid.

Mauritania: Thousands of Refugees From Mali Facing Poor ConditionsHealth and Living Conditions Stretched Thin in Camp and Surrounding Area

Increasing numbers of people from Mali are entering a refugee camp in neighboring Mauritania, where health and living conditions are already poor,  MSF said today.

At least 57,000 people from Mali have entered the Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania since late January. Roughly 1,500 people are arriving in the camp per day, up from 200 per day on April 5. Thousands more people are expected to arrive. In response to the massive influx, MSF is bolstering its activities and emergency medical aid in the desert area, where access to medical care is extremely limited.Mauritania 2012 © Francois Talla/MSF
A Malian woman driven from her home by fighting watches as an MSF doctor checks on her child at the rapidly expanding Mbera camp in Mauritania.

Mauritania: Thousands of Refugees From Mali Facing Poor Conditions
Health and Living Conditions Stretched Thin in Camp and Surrounding Area

Increasing numbers of people from Mali are entering a refugee camp in neighboring Mauritania, where health and living conditions are already poor, MSF said today.

At least 57,000 people from Mali have entered the Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania since late January. Roughly 1,500 people are arriving in the camp per day, up from 200 per day on April 5. Thousands more people are expected to arrive. In response to the massive influx, MSF is bolstering its activities and emergency medical aid in the desert area, where access to medical care is extremely limited.

Mauritania 2012 © Francois Talla/MSF
A Malian woman driven from her home by fighting watches as an MSF doctor checks on her child at the rapidly expanding Mbera camp in Mauritania.

Mauritania: The Threat of Food Insecurity Looms as Thousands of Malian Refugees Gather in the Desert

More than 28,000 Malian refugees have been forced to seek refuge in the border region of Mauritania due to the conflict between the Malian army and Tuareg rebels that broke out in northern Mali last month. Some refugees travelled days without food to reach makeshift camps in Fassala and Mbéré in the south east of Mauritania.

Today, an initial shipment of more than 28 tons (26 metric tons) of medical and logistical supplies will be flown from Belgium to Néma, about 124 miles (200 kilometers) from Mbéré camp. Doctors Without Borders’ teams are starting medical activities. “We are in the middle of the desert in an area where water is a scarce commodity,” says Marie-Christine Férir, MSF’s emergency coordinator in Mali. “Even more alarming, these people are isolated here: the nearest hospital is six hours away by road.”Photo: Mauritania 2005 © Ibrahim Younis
An MSF staff member conducting a nutritional survey that led to the opening of the feeding center in Néma, near the border with Mali.

Mauritania: The Threat of Food Insecurity Looms as Thousands of Malian Refugees Gather in the Desert

More than 28,000 Malian refugees have been forced to seek refuge in the border region of Mauritania due to the conflict between the Malian army and Tuareg rebels that broke out in northern Mali last month. Some refugees travelled days without food to reach makeshift camps in Fassala and Mbéré in the south east of Mauritania.

Today, an initial shipment of more than 28 tons (26 metric tons) of medical and logistical supplies will be flown from Belgium to Néma, about 124 miles (200 kilometers) from Mbéré camp. Doctors Without Borders’ teams are starting medical activities. “We are in the middle of the desert in an area where water is a scarce commodity,” says Marie-Christine Férir, MSF’s emergency coordinator in Mali. “Even more alarming, these people are isolated here: the nearest hospital is six hours away by road.”

Photo: Mauritania 2005 © Ibrahim Younis An MSF staff member conducting a nutritional survey that led to the opening of the feeding center in Néma, near the border with Mali.